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June 74CE.

(After In the hot seat.)

Eventually, the trio at parted after the meeting at the Flavian Colossuem and Octavius had spent a little more time with Ario. Before they had parted. As promised, Octavius made himself available to seeing Aulus and catching up on all the news from the provinces. No doubt Aulus would wish to see his sister and ensure his family was settled in. An invitation for a midday meal was sent earlier in the week in order to ensure that it did not impede Octavius' busy schedule, and hopefully showed courtesy to Aulus' as well. Messengers passed back and forth in order to work out a date. Sometime, an arrangement would be made for the families of both of them to meet and spend time together. However, this meeting would be for the two men. To catch up for old time's sakes. The home still had signs of Octavius' father and the family members who had resided here for a long time. However, over time, the current generation had begun to leave their mark on the place. 

The hour of Aulus' arrival was gradually getting closer. Rufus waited nearby and had gradually become part of the household. Octavius continued to work, writing and preparing things for the next day. His scribes behind him were also working, occasionally they would check with their Dominus about whether the work was acceptable or not.

"Turio greet my guest when he arrives and bring him to the Atrium," Octavius instructed and the slave obediently walked to fetch the guest. Food and wine had been prepared. He had planned a meeting in the garden rather than the office he regularly worked from when he was at home. 

Eventually, he would rest and have a break while meeting his old friend from the past, and to be able to fully catch up with what had taken place between them. Eventually, Octavius hoped for their families to be able to meet.

@Sharpie

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It was not a formal meeting, for one thing, and it was far too hot to be draped in several yards of fabric for another, so Aulus had opted for a white tunic edged with braid and a pallium in a complementary shade of green. The walk from the Piscina Publica to the Palatine was not, thankfully, far. It was steep, however, and Aulus found himself grateful that his most recent posting had not been to anywhere as flat as Germania Inferior - Raetia had kept him fit enough to tackle Rome's hill on foot.

The house was imposing, although not as imposing as the Imperial Palace. It had belonged to Quintus Caesar before he took residence in the Imperial Palace and as Aulus was shown into the atrium, he could see signs of its former ownership, although the current owner was beginning to make his mark on the decor and feel of the place.

"Octavius," he said, crossing the broad expanse of the atrium floor (polished marble, very nicely done) to greet his friend. He was looking forward to just catching up and finding out the political atmosphere of the city, and doing so in the cool shady environs of his friend's home. "This is a sight quieter than the amphitheatre, I must say - and cooler, too."

 

@Gothic

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Octavius smiled and rose from his seat to greet his friend with a handshake before an embrace. "Aulus, it is good to see you, and yes to both counts. I hope your journey was safe," He said, turned and nodded his head to Atticus, a subtle sign that it was time for the people who served as his clients to leave and come back tomorrow. Behind him, Rufus waited to attend to his Dominus' needs and patiently waited. He moved to the side and gave Aulus a look to encourage him to walk with him. Octavius walked with him towards the triclinium that had already been set up for the visitor's arrival. 

"Come, come, make yourself at home," Octavius invited in his typical friendly manner. It would be easier to discuss politics, their families, and a range of other topics without potentially alienating Ario with the conversation. He took a seat and it did not take long before food and wine was presented to them by the household slaves. Being a hospitable host was important to Octavius, and he was more than happy to provide. 

"Have you been well?" Octavius asked. 

@Sharpie

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"I have indeed been well, thank you - and I trust you and yours are likewise?" Aulus replied, walking with his friend further into the house as the various clients and hangers-on were ushered out, some more reluctantly than others. "It is good to be back in Rome, although I cannot say I have missed the summers here."

He helped himself to a goblet of watered wine as he spoke. "You will have to tell me everything I've missed while I've been away governing - what building projects have captured your attention since the completion of that fine amphitheatre? I swear it was nothing but a building site when I left."

He noted the young red-haired slave take up position silently behind his master, attentive in case he wanted anything that was not immediately to hand. He looked to be British, but was surely too well-trained to be one of those savages from that island of mist and myth.

 

@Gothic

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"They are well, and what of your family?" Octavius asked. He had become oblivious to the various clients and hangers-on over the years. It was strange now to be responsible for handling them rather than his elder brothers, or father. Personally Octavius had always preferred the heat over the cold. The time in Britannia was not remembered as fondly as his time in either Dacia or in the East. His hand rested fondly on Aulus' shoulder for a moment. "You'll get used to it now you're back in Rome." 

There had been many projects that had been started on. The amphitheatre had certainly been grand yet it was not Octavius' pride and joy. Instantly he grinned with excitement and enthusiasm. Who would have thought that he loved construction so much? Octavius happily sipped his wine. Clearly it was a topic that he enjoyed and was more than happy to speak of. 

"The Great Library, I hope to have it rival the lost one in Alexandria someday, and there are a few other projects up my sleeve. It is a passion project of mine, and there have been families who have been happy to support it too." He answered, and as expected, Rufus had taken up his position behind him to answer any questions he may have had. 

@Sharpie

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"Ah, the Great Library. Now, that is a worthy cause. Has building begun yet?" Aulus would be willing to donate to that, of course. He would be expected to have his own building projects, too, especially if he wished to be a serious consideration for consul. A new set of baths, perhaps - that would surely be of more immediate use than a temple to the inhabitants of Rome.

He plucked a sprig of grapes from the refreshments provided. "Where is this fine building to be?"

He had learned, over the years, that the way to make others think you were an interesting person was to be interested in their favourite thing to talk about - or to feign interest, anyway. He did not have to feign or fake anything with Octavius, though; he was genuinely curious. Anyway, Octavius knew all the same tricks he did and probably wouldn't appreciate having them used on him.

 

@Gothic

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